Frank Kooy, PhD is a full professor in Cognitive Genetics. He is the chair of the Cognitive Genetics research group at the Department of Medical Genetics at the University of Antwerp, Belgium. The group is part of the research excellence center GENOMED that recently was award Methusalem financing, a prestigious grant for centers with exceptional past performance and future potential.
The mission of the research group Cognitive Genetics is to identify genetic causes of cognitive disorders and to study the defective genes with the ultimate goal to develop rational therapy. Over the past years, we have significantly contributed to contribute to the understanding of the complex genetic mechanisms underlying intellectual disability and autism. We have discovered many novel disorders, including the Helsmoortel-Van der Aa syndrome, one of the more frequent causes of syndromic autism caused by mutations in the ADNP gene. The group has developed several bioinformatic tools that are made available to the research community. Frank is also an authority on the fragile X syndrome, the most frequent cause of inherited intellectual disability and autism. His functional studies of the fragile X syndrome have resulted in an investigator initiated clinical trials in patients. He is an author of many scientific papers and has recently edited an authoritative book on the fragile X syndrome.
Frank otherwise is involved in the organization of at least one scientific conference annually. Funding for the research projects includes 2 sequential European funded ERA-NET Neuron grants that he is coordinating. He is a member of the scientific advisory board of several patient organizations and servers as an äd hoc consultant for biotech companies at a regular basis.